On Thursday, May 7th, workers walked off the job to demand their employer, Environmental Service Systems, respect their right to be represented by their union Local 32BJ. Unfair Labor Practice charges have been filed against Environmental Service Systems (ESS) for illegally attempting to decertify the employees and take away their union protection.
Roselys Relleria, who has worked as an office cleaner at the Morristown facility for 13 years, said this strike is about demanding respect and a voice at work. “We are hardworking men and women who take pride in our job and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Relleria. “Our union fights on our behalf, and we will fight to ensure 32BJ continues to represent us so we have the protection and support we need to stand up against those who try to silence us and strip us of our rights.”
Relleria is among 16 full-time office cleaners who work at Honeywell’s Headquarters at 101 Columbia Road in Morristown. Environmental Service Systems took over the contract on approximately March 6, 2015 and agreed to hire all 16 workers. Recently, reports surfaced that ESS was attempting to illegally strip workers of their right to a union. 32BJ has attempted to reach out to ESS Officials to find common ground and work on a solution. But there has been no progress.
We’re happy to keep the lines of communication open,” said Kevin Brown, 32BJ SEIU Vice President and NJ State Director. “But we won’t sit back and remain silent if workers’ rights are being violated. We will always stand up for workers – they are the backbone of our society, the driving force of our economy. And we will fight to ensure their voices and demands are heard and respected.”
With 145,000 members in 11 states–including more than 10,000 in New Jersey–32BJ SEIU is the largest property services union in the country.